Alkaline treated straw and micro machine technology to improve digestive health and profitability of feedlot cattle

This research will investigate use of calcium oxide treated straw (CaOS) to increase fibre levels in wheat-based feedlot cattle finishing diets. In vitro total gas production will be measured to determine the ideal treatment protocol for creation of CaOS. Further in vitro work will compare fibre digestibility of CaOS to untreated straw, barley silage and corn silage as an indicator of nutritional quality. A feeding trial using yearling steers will measure changes in animal performance when 10% silage is replaced with 12% CaOS in finishing diets.

Impact of dietary fibre and immune challenge on threonine requirements and pig robustness

Sub-clinical disease results in reduced growth and less efficient use of nutrients, resulting in substantial impact on profitability of pork producers. With the elimination of in-feed antibiotics for growth promotion it is increasingly important to understand the interaction between nutrition and health and nutrient requirements during disease challenge events. Feeding high-fibre feedstuffs reduces the efficiency of utilization of dietary threonine for growth in pigs due to an increase in endogenous threonine loss as a result of increased mucin production.

Mathematical modeling of B-vitamin supply in dairy cows

The B vitamin requirements of cattle were traditionally satisfied via rumen microbial synthesis. However, the B vitamin demands of the modern high producing dairy cow now exceed the synthesis rate by rumen microbes, leading to sub-optimal milk production and efficiency. An increased understanding of dietary factors driving ruminal synthesis and use of B vitamins will help identify when supplementation will benefit the cow. Although B vitamin kinetics in the dairy cow have not previously been modelled, data on concentrations and flows are available from extant sources.

Development of low-cost feeding strategies for group-housed gestating sows

Feed restriction in gestating sows is required to prevent excessive body weight gain and the associated negative consequences on lactation, locomotion, farrowing, and feed intake during lactation. Aggression and stereotypies associated with restricted feeding become a welfare and production concern when the sows are housed in groups.

Going beyond genomics: Applying gene editing to the bovine industry

A new revolution in life science research is ongoing since the discovery of the CRISPR/Cas system. With this technology is now possible to specifically and efficiently manipulate the genome of cultured cells, embryos and animals. The technology has many applications in agriculture including the dairy genetic industry to generate the next generation of elite animals having improved traits. For example, using the CRISPR/Cas technology it is now possible to produce dairy cows of any bloodline having improved traits for health, welfare, production and management. L'Alliance Boviteq Inc.

Effects of feeding a yeast-derived microbial protein source on production, reproduction and behavioural parameters in transition dairy cows

Transition cows (3 wk before calving until 3 wk after calving) often suffer from negative energy and protein balances due to reduced feed intake, but increased nutrient demands for milk production. In Canada, up to 50% of transition cows may be affected by a metabolic (ketosis, hypocalcemia, and milk fever) or infectious (retained placenta, displaced abomasum, and uterine infection) disease. These diseases lead to production losses, infertility, animal welfare problems, and high culling rates of transition cows.

Leveraging genomic information to better understand the biological effect of major genes on reproduction and health traits in dairy cattle

The main objective of the study is to increase the discovery of important reproduction and health genetic variants in dairy cattle. This could help improve reproduction and health of dairy herds through genomic selection or editing of the genome. In order to find the causative variants affecting reproduction and health traits, a review of the literature will be performed and new and cutting-edge genomic technology will be used.

“Accelerating grain hemp improvement with genomics”

Genomics, the study of genetic sequence of an organism, can be of great benefit to plant breeders who wish to accelerate the development of new varieties. Natural Emphasis Ltd (NE) is interested in developing hemp that will produce more grain by increasing the number of female flowers on its plants. Our project is to identify sections of the genetic code called ‘markers’ that are associated with plants with a high number of female flowers within a population that NE is using for breeding.

Examination of key nutrition, health, environmental, and welfare issues in swine to improve sustainability and societal acceptance of pork production

In order to remain competitive, pig producers must continually evolve to address current and emerging challenges to the Canadian swine industry. The Prairie Swine Centre has developed a multidisciplinary research program aimed at addressing key issues within the swine industry related to environment, society, safety, and sustainability.

Evaluation of apoptosis and proliferation rates in juvenilerat tissues

During maturation, juvenile rats have dramatic histomorphometric changes within their tissues, including marked proliferation and cell death. These background changes should not be mistaken with drug-induced pathologic features. This is critical for optimal drug toxicity studies. The main objective of this study is to build a database on apoptosis and proliferation at different time points in juvenile rats. Both the data on juvenile tissues and the development of optimized techniques will be a strong commercial asset to the private partner.